Invited in C à Vous this Friday, January 14, Claude Lelouch spoke of the last hours of Patrick Dewaere, who died in 1982.
He will be forever 35 years old. On July 16, 1982, Patrick Dewaère is in the Bois de Boulogne in full trial ofEdith and Marcel with Claude Lelouch and Évelyne Bouix, three days before the start of filming. He had to slip into the skin of boxer Marcel Cerdan in front of this one, chosen to embody Edith Piaf. “We were making the final adjustments.”, remembered the director this Friday, January 14 on the set of C to you. And to prepare, what better than to see a real Marcel Cerdan match again? The appointment was set in the afternoon of July 16. After an eventful morning, the actor-filmmaker duo have lunch together at Club 13, located in the eighth arrondissement of Paris. “He was overjoyed, he was nervous”, continued the filmmaker, remembering an actor very invested in his role and ready to do anything to reproduce the hooks of the sportsman to perfection.
But suddenly, the good mood of Patrick Dewaère evaporates. “At one point, there was a phone call“, remembered Claude Lelouch. The actor gets up from the table for a while and isolates himself for a few minutes. “He came back and he said to me: ‘listen i have an emergency, I’ll meet you this afternoon at five o’clock for the game.” Unfortunately, it will fail the director. “I never found him“, regrets this one. After the meal, the actor is driven by car by Charles Gérard and announces to him that he wishes to return to his home, to his home in the impasse du Moulin-Vert. It is around 3 p.m. when Patrick Dewaere ends his life pulling out a bullet in the mouth in front of the mirror in his room with a rifle given to him by Coluche. Almost 40 years later, Claude Lelouch remembers that last meal and that “phone call who changed his life.“
Patrick Dewaere dead without explanation
How to explain such a desperate gesture? He left no words can explain his distress. Some saw it as a heartache because, the same year, his wife Elsa left him to settle with Coluche in Guadeloupe. Actress Mado Maurin said much later that she was on the other end of the line when Patrick Dewaère was seated with Claude Lelouch, telling him that he “would not see again never again his daughter.“The director Yves Boisset, who met him eight days before his death, has another version: the deceased would have been overwhelmed by an accumulation of problems, “tax stories, huge debts, health problems and certain aspects of his private life which had become unbearable to him.” Be that as it may, French cinema has been shaken by the suicide of Patrick Dewaere and is preparing, in this year 2022, to celebrate a very sad anniversary on July 16th.
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